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Engineered extracellular vesicles for concurrent Anti-PDL1 immunotherapy and chemotherapy

Chen, Y;Wang, L;Zheng, M;Zhu, C;Wang, G;Xia, Y;Blumenthal, E;Mao, W;Wan, Y;

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) targeting PD-1/PD-L1 have been approved for the treatment of a variety of cancers. However, the efficacy of antibody-based ICIs could be further improved by mitigating anti-drug antibodies, proteolytic cleavage, and on-target off-tumor toxicity. One strategy for accomplishing this is through the use of extracellular vesicles (EVs), cell derived submicron vesicles with many unique properties. We constructed an engineered MDA-MB-231 cell line for harvesting EVs. This was accomplished by overexpressing a high-affinity variant human PD-1 protein (havPD-1), while simultaneously knocking out intrinsic PD-L1 and beta-2 microglobulin. The engineered havPD-1 EVs reduced PD-L1 overexpressing cancer cell proliferation and induced cellular apoptosis. Moreover, the EVs were shown to efficiently block PD-L1 mediated T cell suppression. Meanwhile antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and complement-dependent cytotoxicity were not observed. The havPD-1 EVs treatment resulted in robust anti-tumor activity in both preventative co-implantation and therapeutic xenograft tumor models reconstituted with human T cells. The efficacy of the havPD-1 EVs was shown to be comparable to clinical anti-PD1 monoclonal antibodies. Additionally, loading the havPD-1 EVs with a potent PARP inhibitor was shown to further augment treatment efficacy. In brief, the engineered universal EVs harboring havPD-1 proteins can be used for cancer concurrent immunotherapy and chemotherapy.